The reports of the earlier Chinese travellers record a Gandhāra resplendent with stupas and monasteries and a Buddhism which might reasonably be characterized as a relic cult. Evidence for the practice of relic establishment is consistent and ubiquitous. Indeed, relic establishment might be understood as perhaps the most significant element of Buddhist religious culture in the Gandhāran region at least in the period covered by the inscription record. Relic inscriptions are central to our understanding of the ritual practice of relic establishment. They are highly formulaic and, located at the nexus of state and monastic hegemony, might be characterized as truly foundational artefacts. Relic inscriptions might be seen to be comparable, if not exceeding, Aśokan inscriptions in terms of their civilization defining normative significance.